Tulips from Amsterdam?
Being a small team, meant that we couldn’t all get on the plane to the world of coffee Amsterdam as our JG Coffee world would stop. It has been 7 years since I visited one of these and being the introvert I am found myself in a warm-shock of social activity before I even got on the plane, before 7 a.m. meeting the completely charming Roland (*Head roaster) from Hasbean.
When we arrived at RAI Roland and I had agendas, so went our separate ways. I was quietly proud of myself, scanning my way around the exhibition in about 20 minutes if you are not focused it can take 3 days, no joke. There are so many conversations to be had.
I had scheduled a meeting with Cassio (from Fazenda Jacaranda)after a talk about sustainability in coffee, which was enlightening. As with many talks, the answer to sustainability was the developed world paying enough to stop the current and next generation of coffee growers becoming drivers of mice and computers or a service industry that’s easier to work in than the arduous hard labour of coffee growing, but at least you get paid something. Because of rules, money is not allowed to be mentioned, in a public debate about sustainability which is wrong in itself. This means the corporate culture of dressing up like a penguin, in a suit and smelling like roses is still a safe sport, whilst deciding the fate of families and if you will pay them the cost of production, let alone the cost of looking after the ground they survive on. The corporate world is still alive in coffee and the new generation in coffee is not necessarily all on moral target. Yes, I often need an angry badge, as you can read. The humbling news (for me personally) is that we are part of something that matters and connects with growers and thinkers that get it and pay properly, rather than the squabble at the bottom of the barrel.
On other news, the only tulips I saw all day were in the airport. Thank goodness.